Soap soft and olive oil color in mold after 24 hours

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HayBond

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Can anyone help me figure out what happened? When I poured it in the mold it was thick enough to create hill and valley designs on top with a spoon, vanilla pudding color. next day it looks like a semi solid olive oil colored mess. 33% coconut oil, 33% palm, 34% olive, 15 g fragrance oil, 40% lye solution. mixed at 89° F thank you for your help. Total newbie here btw
 
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KimW

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Oh, bummer! My initial thought is that perhaps you reached false trace due to the low soaping temp and the high amount of coconut and palm oils. Do you think maybe that's possible?
I don't know about it being so thick and being false trace though.
 

HayBond

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KimW. I thought false tracetoo. but it was so thick when I put it in the mold. Is it salvageable?
 
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Jersey Girl

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Can anyone help me figure out what happened? When I poured it in the mold it was thick enough to create hill and valley designs on top with a spoon, vanilla pudding color. next day it looks like a semi solid olive oil colored mess. 33% coconut oil, 33% palm, 34% olive, 15 g fragrance oil, 40% lye solution. mixed at 89° F thank you for your help. Total newbie here btw
Can you take a picture?
 

Aput

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Hello, why my soap like this?😭😭😭 I used 33% water as percent of oil weight
16151657022468407206662834941972.jpg
 

HayBond

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Can you take a picture?
Yes. then the challenge will be figuring out how to post it 😃😃 tada!!! i didit!!
90088D58-05DC-4C48-9CA2-5E1FF1FC44BA.jpeg


Pour it all into a crock pot, heat on low and stir it back together. Once it looks uniform, scoop it into a mold.
do you think there is too much water? I'm asking in hopes if Ifigure out the problem I can avoid it next time
 

Obsidian

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No, I think your water was fine. It almost looks like it overheated and separated. Did you insulate or cpop it?
What k8nd of FO did you use?
 

HayBond

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No, I think your water was fine. It almost looks like it overheated and separated. Did you insulate or cpop it?
What k8nd of FO did you use?
covered the mold with cardboard and wrapped itin a towel. the mold sat on a cookie sheet. I don't know what cpop means. cold process op? FO? fragrance oil? hickory and suede from bramble berry
 

KimW

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Yes - you got it.! FO=Fragrance Oil
cpop = Cold Process Oven Process. This just means that after pouring cold process soap into the mold, it is then put in a low temp oven to force gel.
Obsidian is trying to discern if there's a reason your soap overheated and I'm sure she'll be back along shortly to address your reply. :)

In the meantime, here's an abbreviation thread for you - this saved me a lot of time and head scratching:
 

HayBond

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Yes - you got it.! FO=Fragrance Oil
cpop = Cold Process Oven Process. This just means that after pouring cold process soap into the mold, it is then put in a low temp oven to force gel.
Obsidian is trying to discern if there's a reason your soap overheated and I'm sure she'll be back along shortly to address your reply. :)

In the meantime, here's an abbreviation thread for you - this saved me a lot of time and head scratching:
Thank you!!!
 

Obsidian

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Yep, I think it just got too hot. Cpop= cold process oven process. Its when you place your soap in a warm oven to force gel, easy to overheat if the over is heated too high or you forget to turn it off once it's warm.

FO= fragrance oil, I asked because some can cause overheating. The one you used seems to be well behaved though. It does discolor to a medium brown.
 

HayBond

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Yep, I think it just got too hot. Cpop= cold process oven process. Its when you place your soap in a warm oven to force gel, easy to overheat if the over is heated too high or you forget to turn it off once it's warm.

FO= fragrance oil, I asked because some can cause overheating. The one you used seems to be well behaved though. It does discolor to a medium brown.
If it got too hot earlier, how does heating it in a crockpot help? (there's a lot to learn to this soapmaking!!)
 

KimW

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That's a good question and I've been looking for an answer, and I can't find one. However, I do know that a crock on low, as described above by Obsidian, does work to correct a CP soap that has separated due to over heating. Crock on low, stir soap just until it comes back together, then pour (or plop) back into your molds. The soap may not be smooth, but it will be soap. The first time I did this was way before I found this forum and it was intuitive to me because I also made lotions. If a lotion separates or doesn't emulsify, sometimes reheating and reblending will fix it because if your measurements were right, then chances are the lotion cooled too fast or some ingredient wasn't at the proper temperature to begin with. Sort of like a "do over" or reboot, if that makes sense. :)
 

Nibiru2020

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33% coconut oil, 33% palm, 34% olive, 15 g fragrance oil, 40% lye solution. mixed at 89° F thank you for your help. Total newbie here btw
I am convinced that it was your starting temperatures that caused the issue. I don't know how many batches of soap you've made, but it is absolutely essential, in my humble opinion, to have both the oils and lye solution at the minimum of approximately 125-130° F. Some members here will disagree with me, that's their prerogative. When cold processing soap low temps, especially below 100°F will cause a "false trace". I prefer my CP soaps to go to gel phase quickly, so I have my oil and lye solutions at around 145°F (Again... some members here will disagree with me, but hey it's my soap, not theirs!) Blend the trace until is reaches the consistency of thin gravy or custard. Cooler temperatures such as the 89°F you list will usually cause a "false trace". It happened to me in my early days of making soap... about 20 years ago. I had to throw out two batches because of following someone's suggestion of using lower temperatures.
Trace is the beginning of an exothermic reaction which will lead to the gel phase which is an endothermic reaction.

Gel Phase is often a normal part of the soap making (from scratch) process where the soap heats up on its own & gets hot enough that it starts to turn a little translucent and gel like. As the lye in your soap batter reacts with the oils/fats you’ve chosen, they combine and transform into molecules of soap (and glycerin).
Saponification is exothermic (heat is released), but going to gel phase is endothermic (heat absorbed). In cold process soapmaking, some of the heat released in saponification is absorbed when the soap gels. In hot process or oven process, the heat from the oven forces the soap to gel. (Source: Kevin Dunn, author of Scientific Soapmaking)
If you’ve ever taken a peek at your soap after pouring it in the mold, you may notice the center of the batch might look a little more translucent than the rest of the batch. That’s what we call the gel phase! This is even more common in certain types of thick wood/block molds. Gel almost always happens with large batches where the mass of the soap is greater and naturally produces more heat. Eventually that center section will turn back to the opaque cold process soap you’re used to seeing, and the gelled soap will act very similar to the un-gelled soap.

Great resource on gel phase is here: What is “Gel Phase” in Cold Process Soap making?
Great resource on temperature is here: How Temperature Affects Cold Process Soap at the Soap Queen website.

You can put silicone soap molds into the oven and process at up to 250°F all day long and not damage the molds. Just be sure to put them on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Reaching the gel phase is crucial IMHO to creating top-notch soap. The formation of the fatty acid salts is much better and complete during gel phase. Your one photo above seems to show the soap a day after you made it... correct?

It appears you used Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the greenish color of your soap. I would recommend using the lighter colored Olive Oils, same SAP values, lower fragrance, less expensive, make a better looking soap, especially if you plan, at some time in the future to add colors, clays, micas, etc., etc. Again... this is my humble recommendation.

In addition, your lye to water ratio is quite high. Experienced soap makers would call this a "water discount", doing this method will reduce or even stop the gel phase of saponification. This method is usually used when using ingredients such as goat milk.

Check out this great explanation of the gel phase and the various options associated with it: Gel Phase in Soap Making – Preventing and Forcing Gel Phase

I hope this info helps you.
 

HayBond

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That's a good question and I've been looking for an answer, and I can't find one. However, I do know that a crock on low, as described above by Obsidian, does work to correct a CP soap that has separated due to over heating. Crock on low, stir soap just until it comes back together, then pour (or plop) back into your molds. The soap may not be smooth, but it will be soap. The first time I did this was way before I found this forum and it was intuitive to me because I also made lotions. If a lotion separates or doesn't emulsify, sometimes reheating and reblending will fix it because if your measurements were right, then chances are the lotion cooled too fast or some ingredient wasn't at the proper temperature to begin with. Sort of like a "do over" or reboot, if that makes sense. :)
Thanks so much Kim! So strange how this process works in terms of the chemistry. Fascinatin, too!!

I am convinced that it was your starting temperatures that caused the issue. I don't know how many batches of soap you've made, but it is absolutely essential, in my humble opinion, to have both the oils and lye solution at the minimum of approximately 125-130° F. Some members here will disagree with me, that's their prerogative. When cold processing soap low temps, especially below 100°F will cause a "false trace". I prefer my CP soaps to go to gel phase quickly, so I have my oil and lye solutions at around 145°F (Again... some members here will disagree with me, but hey it's my soap, not theirs!) Blend the trace until is reaches the consistency of thin gravy or custard. Cooler temperatures such as the 89°F you list will usually cause a "false trace". It happened to me in my early days of making soap... about 20 years ago. I had to throw out two batches because of following someone's suggestion of using lower temperatures.
Trace is the beginning of an exothermic reaction which will lead to the gel phase which is an endothermic reaction.

Gel Phase is often a normal part of the soap making (from scratch) process where the soap heats up on its own & gets hot enough that it starts to turn a little translucent and gel like. As the lye in your soap batter reacts with the oils/fats you’ve chosen, they combine and transform into molecules of soap (and glycerin).

If you’ve ever taken a peek at your soap after pouring it in the mold, you may notice the center of the batch might look a little more translucent than the rest of the batch. That’s what we call the gel phase! This is even more common in certain types of thick wood/block molds. Gel almost always happens with large batches where the mass of the soap is greater and naturally produces more heat. Eventually that center section will turn back to the opaque cold process soap you’re used to seeing, and the gelled soap will act very similar to the un-gelled soap.

Great resource on gel phase is here: What is “Gel Phase” in Cold Process Soap making?
Great resource on temperature is here: How Temperature Affects Cold Process Soap at the Soap Queen website.

You can put silicone soap molds into the oven and process at up to 250°F all day long and not damage the molds. Just be sure to put them on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Reaching the gel phase is crucial IMHO to creating top-notch soap. The formation of the fatty acid salts is much better and complete during gel phase. Your one photo above seems to show the soap a day after you made it... correct?

It appears you used Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the greenish color of your soap. I would recommend using the lighter colored Olive Oils, same SAP values, lower fragrance, less expensive, make a better looking soap, especially if you plan, at some time in the future to add colors, clays, micas, etc., etc. Again... this is my humble recommendation.

In addition, your lye to water ratio is quite high. Experienced soap makers would call this a "water discount", doing this method will reduce or even stop the gel phase of saponification. This method is usually used when using ingredients such as goat milk.

Check out this great explanation of the gel phase and the various options associated with it: Gel Phase in Soap Making – Preventing and Forcing Gel Phase

I hope this info helps you.
Thank you so, so much for taking the time to share so much great information! This was the second batch. First had way too much water Never reached trace. I will definitely switch to lighter olive oil!!

Also watch these to ensure you reach trace.
Thank you. Great videos!
 

GemstonePony

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I am convinced that it was your starting temperatures that caused the issue. I don't know how many batches of soap you've made, but it is absolutely essential, in my humble opinion, to have both the oils and lye solution at the minimum of approximately 125-130° F. Some members here will disagree with me, that's their prerogative. When cold processing soap low temps, especially below 100°F will cause a "false trace". I prefer my CP soaps to go to gel phase quickly, so I have my oil and lye solutions at around 145°F (Again... some members here will disagree with me, but hey it's my soap, not theirs!) Blend the trace until is reaches the consistency of thin gravy or custard. Cooler temperatures such as the 89°F you list will usually cause a "false trace". It happened to me in my early days of making soap... about 20 years ago. I had to throw out two batches because of following someone's suggestion of using lower temperatures.
Trace is the beginning of an exothermic reaction which will lead to the gel phase which is an endothermic reaction.

Gel Phase is often a normal part of the soap making (from scratch) process where the soap heats up on its own & gets hot enough that it starts to turn a little translucent and gel like. As the lye in your soap batter reacts with the oils/fats you’ve chosen, they combine and transform into molecules of soap (and glycerin).

If you’ve ever taken a peek at your soap after pouring it in the mold, you may notice the center of the batch might look a little more translucent than the rest of the batch. That’s what we call the gel phase! This is even more common in certain types of thick wood/block molds. Gel almost always happens with large batches where the mass of the soap is greater and naturally produces more heat. Eventually that center section will turn back to the opaque cold process soap you’re used to seeing, and the gelled soap will act very similar to the un-gelled soap.

Great resource on gel phase is here: What is “Gel Phase” in Cold Process Soap making?
Great resource on temperature is here: How Temperature Affects Cold Process Soap at the Soap Queen website.

You can put silicone soap molds into the oven and process at up to 250°F all day long and not damage the molds. Just be sure to put them on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Reaching the gel phase is crucial IMHO to creating top-notch soap. The formation of the fatty acid salts is much better and complete during gel phase. Your one photo above seems to show the soap a day after you made it... correct?

It appears you used Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the greenish color of your soap. I would recommend using the lighter colored Olive Oils, same SAP values, lower fragrance, less expensive, make a better looking soap, especially if you plan, at some time in the future to add colors, clays, micas, etc., etc. Again... this is my humble recommendation.

In addition, your lye to water ratio is quite high. Experienced soap makers would call this a "water discount", doing this method will reduce or even stop the gel phase of saponification. This method is usually used when using ingredients such as goat milk.

Check out this great explanation of the gel phase and the various options associated with it: Gel Phase in Soap Making – Preventing and Forcing Gel Phase

I hope this info helps you.
Soaping that hot makes it far more likely that your batch will overheat and separate in the mold, since the soap heats up as it continues to saponify. Conventional wisdom is 85-95°f for a lot of reasons, so I'd love to know why it is "absolutely essential" to soap at least 40° hotter than that.
Also, a number of soapers use the "Heat Transfer Method" of soaping, where you use the hot lye solution to melt the hard fats and then pour your liquid oils in after and continue working towards emulsion, so I'd love to hear why it is "absolutely essential" to have both oil and lye the same or similar temperatures at the start.
 

TheGecko

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but it is absolutely essential,
No it's not...it's a matter of personal preference based on your own needs, desires and of course, your recipe.

I Master Batch both my Oils/Butters and Lye Solution. I reheat my Oils/Butters to about 120F and then add in my Lye Solution that's around 70F...I have zero issues with "false trace". I also don't gel my soaps...a matter of personal preference. I also make GMS and soap at an even lower temperature because of the Goat Milk and I end up with beautiful, creamy soap.

If soaping at 145F works for you, that is great, but it's not "absolutely essential" to do so. The recommended temperature for beginner soap makers is around 110F - 120F mainly as a safety issue to make sure they don't scald themselves handling hot lye water. As they gain experience, they will determine what temperature works best for them and their recipe.

You can put silicone soap molds into the oven and process at up to 250°F all day long and not damage the molds.
Not completely true. First of all, silicone is not the end all be all. I have several stand alone silicone molds and had to have boxes made for them because the sides are bowing out. Mind you, those molds are only two years old and I have only tried CPOP method a couple of times. Also, if you bake your soap, you're going to end up with what is called 'silicone rash' and then you're going to lose soap because if you sell your soap, you're going to want to plane it off else-wise it looks diseased. Personal experience, it became house soap.

In addition, your lye to water ratio is quite high. Experienced soap makers would call this a "water discount", doing this method will reduce or even stop the gel phase of saponification. This method is usually used when using ingredients such as goat milk.
There is no such thing as a 'water discount' or 'full water'...experienced soap makers will tell you that. What you have is Lye Concentration. The more water, the lower the Lye Concentration. The less water, the higher the Lye Concentration. 33% - 35% Lye Concentration is about average. Some folks go as high as 40% Lye Concentration. There is some gal on YT that claims 50% with a two week cure...you couldn't pay me to use her soap, I like my skin as it is.

And for those of us make GMS...there is no 'usually'...different strokes for different folks. I use100% fresh goat milk instead of water for my Lye Solution; my Lye Concentration varies between 33% to 35% depending on the time of the year. I use 33% during the Spring/Summer and refrigerate my soap. During the Fall/Winter I use 35% and it's fine in the garage. Other folks will do a "half and half"...50% Lye Concentration with water and the balance in Goat Milk, usually mixed with their Oils. Some folks use Goat Milk Powder with a "half and half" or will just add the Powder to their Oils. Again...no "usually", just a matter of personal preference.

Now I realize that I have only been making soap for a couple of years now, but I have noticed that there are pretty much two constants...1) you need as much water as you have Sodium Hydroxide; there is just no getting around that. 2) Fats + Lye = Soap.

Okay...off to work.
 
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